Over a month after Kobe Bryant’s death, mourning and tributes continue


Outside of the Staples Center, fans leave memorabilia and candles as a tribute at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service

On Monday, February 24, 2020, over 350,000 people, 25,000 candles, and 1,300 basketballs were seen at the Los Angeles Staples Center. Over a month after Kobe Bryant’s passing, a public memorial service was held for Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant. Celebrities, athletes, family, friends and fans gathered to commemorate the everlasting impact the perished father and daughter have left on the world. The two-hour televised event featured performances by celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles and Alicia Keyes.

“You could tell the celebrities that were selected to perform did not take the opportunity lightly. There was obvious heartfelt emotion behind their performances and they still put on a show,” Blake Wong said.

During the memorial service, former friends and teammates Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan delivered speeches that consisted of heartwarming memories and dialogues they shared with their friend.

One of the most notable moments of the night was Vanessa Bryant’s first time speaking in the public eye since the Calabasas helicopter crash. She delivered a tearful speech reflecting on her husband and daughter, sharing behind the scenes stories the media could not cover.

“Vanessa Bryant’s speech was very touching, and made me pretty emotional. I cannot imagine what she is going through having lost her husband and daughter on the same day. You could tell Kobe and Gianna both had an enthusiasm for life and a love for family based on the stories Vanessa shared,” Rahbarian said.

Following the stars death, tributes and celebrations of his life continue to honor his impact not only on basketball, but for his passion for inspiring the next generation. Having played for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team from 1996 to 2016, Bryant was viewed as a heroic figure for not only the city of L.A., but for an international demographic. Since the Calabasas helicopter crash that killed Bryant, the world has responded with an emotional outpour of support for the legendary athlete.

Tributes from a wide variety of countries where Bryant has left his impact on have commenced since the star’s death.

In Italy, where Bryant grew up, the country’s basketball league held a “week of mourning” where a minute of silence was held before each basketball game to honor and remember him.

In the the Philippines, Bryant fans did not hesitate to commemorate the fallen celebrity and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, who died alongside her father, by hand painting a giant mural of the two.

The multi-talented celebrity’s passing has been surreal for Bryant’s family, friends, and fans.

“I clearly remember when I first learned about the crash, I was on a flight to visit a college when I saw the news and I was utterly shocked and couldn’t stop thinking about it. The memorial made it all seem real,” said Dom Spence.

While the world continues to process the loss of a basketball legend, Bryant’s dedication, excellence, and “Mamba Mentality” will prevail for generations through those he has inspired.